So what happened in Copenhagen?
In the run up to the Copenhagen Summit, we had narrated the history of Climate Change negotiations, we had presented the key players to you and we had described the agenda of this most-hyped, most anticipated event of the decade. Now its over. And it has turned out to be a damp squib. Nevertheless, we need to take stock of what happened in this more than two-week long conference where thousands converged and chaos ensued. On all fronts.
What is the Copenhagen Accord all about?
Precious little really. Here is how it looks.
Kyoto Protocol has not been totally scrapped as India and other developing nations feared, but neither has any progress been made on it. The rich nations are still pushing for a new treaty that will absolve them of all their past excesses and hold all nations equally responsible for curbing green house gas emissions. The developing countries, on the other hand, want a treaty in lines of the Kyoto Protocol, which demands specific commitments for the old emitters and the real culprits, that is, the developed world. Result? Deadlock.
No one has agreed to any emission cut. While the rich countries refuse to go beyond committing 14-18 per cent cuts, as compared to the 1990 levels by 2020, the developing world is adamant to push them for 40 per cent cuts by 2020. Result? Stalemate.
Tropical forests must be preserved and restored as they play a ‘crucial role’ is maintaining the carbon balance. Everyone agreed on this, but no one was ready to commit specific funds required to preserve them. Result?Confusion.
Now add up the results. What do we get? Copenhagen = Zero